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Malaysia has potential to become Asian digital 'tiger’ — Fahmi

August 25, 2023
The Edge
5 mins read

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 25): Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil is confident Malaysia has the potential to become an Asian digital 'tiger’ if the country can achieve success in the three main aspects related to digital infrastructure and economy.

He said the first aspect is to resolve the issue of the last 3% of populated areas that do not have network coverage.

"Secondly, to guarantee or improve the level of cybersecurity and personal data protection and thirdly increase the amount of investments and expanding digital economy.

"If these three aspects (can be achieved) with the cooperation of various agencies and parties under the Ministry of Communications and Digital (KKD), I believe the spillover from these efforts can be enjoyed by the people and that success will eventually see Malaysia becoming an Asian digital tiger,” he said.

He told reporters this after officiating the #JagaDataKita campaign and Touch 'n Go eWallet MyCyberShield personal data protection subscription on Friday.

Fahmi said another equally vital component was the fact that many companies are beginning to consider expanding their operations in Malaysia, including adding to their total number of workers.

"This is also very positive, not just for the digital economy ecosystem in Malaysia but, eventually, indirectly making Malaysia a hub or site for these companies to expand in the Southeast Asian region and beyond.

"This is also one of our targets, where we see the infrastructure we have, either physically or through initiatives such as Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Malaysia Digital, are capable of making Malaysia the main destination for investors to expand their operations in Malaysia and beyond in the Southeast Asian region,” he said.

In another development, when asked about allegations that there was a data leakage during the implementation of the state life insurance scheme, Insurans Hayat Selangor (INSAN), Fahmi said the Personal Data Protection Department (JPDP) was investigating the matter.

"I cannot speak about this until it (the investigation) is completed because I was told that the JPDP is carrying out an investigation, but any incident that happens, if the JPDP detects the possibility of anything untoward happening that involves personal data, they have the power to investigate.

"Usually, it will take some time depending on case by case and on many other factors,” he said.

Meanwhile, asked if there was a personal data leakage following the automatic pre-registration process of the implementation of INSAN by matching the Election Commission (EC) voter register information, Fahmi said the matter is being investigated by the JPDP.

"As far as I can remember, before I became a Member of Parliament, I could buy data and I did buy the data then for political matters as an individual contesting in Lebuh Pantai and, yes, the information can be obtained,” he said.

Fahmi said it would be up to the JPDP whether or not to call up the EC as they (the JPDP) have full authority under the law.

The Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI Selangor), in a statement on Thursday, said the allegations that there were leaked data of Selangor residents was inaccurate and there was no element of data leakage involving Selangorians under INSAN because it is protected by the state government.